We extended our trip and flew up the coast to Palo Alto. As Chris wrote, we have both driven this route before but flying it in a Piper cub was spectacular!!! We got to see things you can't see from the road, especially when the road turns inland. Additionally, watching the marine layer move in and out was breathtaking. We tried to get some great videos. Even though our retracing trip is officiallybover, we continued to meet amazing people and great fans of the book.
Good morning from California! We landed in Oceanside yesterday afternoon at about 230 Pacific Time. Yesterday's flying was amazing as usual. Although the wind was fairly hig when we left Yuma, it was a fairly smooth ride and we had a bit of tailwind for the first time during the entire trip. The most nerve wracking part but also quite interesting was literally skirting the Mexican border the entire way. The fencing however is very visible so it was not too hard to stay away. Althiughnit was hot, the engine temps allowed us to fly a little lower most of the way (1200 feet or so).
I can't believe we only have one more day. The last 10 days have flown by, literally. Over the last few days the heat has been the biggest surprise to me and the biggest stumbling block. It has caused us to have to rise and fly earlier, which has been nice. The first couple hours flying the last couple of days has been nothing short of amazing. We have had our friend Tom Ford along with us since Graham. He is always fun to fly with and its always nice to have another airplane along.
As i was reading some of the passages from the book over the last couple of days, I can definitely say that I often identify with RInker, expecially in his desiptions of the turbulance. Although many days it has not been bad, there have been a few days where it was pretty bumpy. Honestly though, as someone who has been prone to motion sickness my whole life, I have done amazingly well. I have not been sick at all. Additionally, although I have been a supporter of aviation and have been flying with my husband for many years, I have often been a somewhat nervous flier.
Well, we landed here in Wink, TX. Have not seen a rattlesnake, but did see a Cyote run across the runway when we were landing. Man, is it hot here - 40 degrees celcius!!!! We were greeted by Charlie Cooper - who had been tracking us and waiting on us, but had given up on us since we were in Odessa for so long! He told me that we needed to blog more and keep people updated and I was not allowed to leave until I did so!! Sorry folks, we were in Graham TX an extra day working out some kinks on the airplane.
Well, the trip has not gone on wihtout a couple of mishaps over the last few day. Some of you may have noticed that there were a mess of tracks from Memphis to Brinkey, AR. That's because we inadvertantly left my backpack there with some irreplacible things in it so Chris had to race back to get it with "Georgia Bill." That extra trek made for an extrememly long day as a thunderstorm developed over the field as they were on thier way back so they had to fly around for an extra 45 minutes or so before being able to get back in.
It has been waaaayyyy too long since I have been able to blog. Its interesting how much timeit actually takes to only fly four hours a day!!!! Our flight time has been about that each day but that usually takes about 7 to 8 hours. Then you have to set up camp, cook dinner, clean up, get thing ready for the morning, etc. We also have been very fortunate over the last few days to have family and friends join us which means we get to visit with them in the event gs as well but then I don't get to my blog....sorry! Having people join us along the way has been fantastically fun though.
All is can say is WOW! What an exciting two days we have had. I have not read Chris' blog, but I assume he has told you about most of the wonderful things that have happened. I will focus on my persepctive and being a psychologist, the human factors. As many of you know by now....we were able to meet up with Kern and Rinker for the beginning of the trip!!! What I loved most about that experience (aside from hearing them recount great stories that did not make the book) was how happy Chris was that day.
Sorry its been a few days since I posted - life right now is very hectic!!! Watching Chris fly 71H for the first time was beyond words - so truly amazing to see her fly after two plus years. And true to our typcial way of life - it was down to the wire!!! Although this is all exciting and happy - trying to work out all these kinks at the last minute has also been STRESSFUL!! SO, that said, while Chris worked away all weekend on the mechanical kinks - I decided I could be the most help if I just got out of the way and went to a music festival for the weekend.
As June has arrived, the "journey" we have been talking about for years now finally feels like its just around the corner. This week as I went to a baseball game event with families from the Austin Hatcher Foundation for pediatric cancer, I was reminded of each of their "journey's." As we embark on this trip, I am filled with anticipation, excitement and some apprehension as well. I am exctied to be embarking on this adventure with my husband and best friend and am hopeful that, like the Buck boys, the trip will only serve to strengthen our partnership.